The pickup truck market represents some of the most traditional customers and vehicles in the industry.
The image has become so ingrained into our society that there appears to be a strict list of acceptable attributes: a body-on-frame construction, solid rear axle, and V8 power. Also, as is traditional, the heavy-duty segment remains dominated by the big three. Nissan apparently understands the totality of their dominance and has determined that it’s best to develop a new segment for customers that demand the hauling capability of a heavy-duty but the drivability of a light-duty. Smartly collaborating with Cummins, the Nissan Titan XD has a 5L V8 turbo diesel to help it earn towing ratings that max out in the middle of these two segments and the XD’s size compares with the light-duty segment. So, from an engineering standpoint, the XD achieves its mission. However, in order to be a success, the marketing message must be spot-on with its targeted customer base for risk of being too similar to the Titan light duty or invite too high of expectations. Considering the loyalty of the customer bases for each of the established light-duty and heavy-duty brands, N
issan has positioned itself on a very narrow road.